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How to protest a resignation as without cause (non-profit)


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Guest Tim

Hello, this is a question regarding a non-profit (church) where the pastor has announced his resignation. I, a member of the board, object to his stated reasons, which (conveniently) absolves himself of any responsibility.

Obviously we cannot force him to stay, I'm not trying to do that ... but I am curious if there is a formal way to register my objections related to the acceptance of his resignation letter.

Thanks in advance.

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Guest Zev

Yes, you may object. One way of doing that is to gain the floor and move that the pending motion of accepting his resignation be substituted for a motion to dismiss him from his office.

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I think that depends on exactly you want to get out of this and how difficult it would be to remove him from his office.  One option would be to speak against accepting the resignation and then voting it down after which follow whatever procedures are required  to remove him from office.  Another option would be to allow the resignation to go through and then introduce a motion censuring him for whatever misdeeds he is accused to committing.

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I'm guessing if the board adopted the motion to accept his resignation, the motion was to do just that, and not to validate his stated reasons for leaving. But, if you still feel a need to enter into the record your misgivings about his stated reasons, perhaps you could request that the board enter your objections into the minutes.

 

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5 hours ago, Guest Zev said:

Yes, you may object. One way of doing that is to gain the floor and move that the pending motion of accepting his resignation be substituted for a motion to dismiss him from his office.

 

54 minutes ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Huh?  🙂

Maybe that's supposed to read "... be substituted WITH a motion to dismiss..."  ??

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4 hours ago, Tom Coronite said:

 

Maybe that's supposed to read "... be substituted WITH a motion to dismiss..."  ??

I don't think that would be in order, as a substitute.  It would change the motion form from a Request to be Excused From a Duty to an incidental main motion (probably raised a Question of Privilege).  It would change the form enough for me to rule it out of order (pp. 138-9).

The resignation could be rejected and a motion that the pastor be dismissed could be entertained.  I would permit the motion to accept the resignation to be postponed, or even subject to Lay on the Table, and the motion to dismiss to be taken up.  I would treat a resignation as being a different question as a motion to remove someone from a position.   

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5 hours ago, Tom Coronite said:

 

Maybe that's supposed to read "... be substituted WITH a motion to dismiss..."  ??

This is a confusing, ambiguous, and regionally variant "feature" (read: bug) of American English.  The pronouns, with/for and the order of the two things to be substituted one for the other, are not fixed in their meanings.

I discovered this on moving from NJ to PA, when my attempts at a restaurant to substitute a bowl of soup for a salad were having the opposite of their intended effect.

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Guest Tim (op)

Thanks, guys, I def don't want to force a dismissal. I simply want to have my objections recorded. Would that be best done in written format, where my objections are not subject to the phrasing of the clerk? Maybe a short statement I ask be included in the minutes?

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Guest Zev
2 hours ago, J. J. said:

I don't think that would be in order, as a substitute.  It would change the motion form from a Request to be Excused From a Duty to an incidental main motion (probably raised a Question of Privilege).  It would change the form enough for me to rule it out of order (pp. 138-9).

 

Quote

By these rules, if a proposed amendment is related to the main motion in such a way that, after the adoption, rejection, or temporary disposal of the present main motion, the essential idea of the amendment could not be introduced as an independent resolution during the same session, the amendment is germane and should be admitted, since there will not, or may not, be any opportunity to present it later. This test cannot be reliably used to determine that an amendment is out of order, since it is sometimes possible for an amendment to be germane even if, regardless of action on the present main motion, the idea embodied in the amendment could be introduced independently later in the same session.

RONR 11th edition page 136-137.

[Zev] "Mr. Chairman, if we accept the gentleman's resignation a motion to dismiss him is no longer possible, or if we dismiss him we can no longer accept his resignation. For this reason I respectfully appeal your ruling that the motion to substitute is out of order."

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You have the option of adding or deleting "Whereas" clauses from the preamble to the motion. So you could move to amend by adding clauses that explain your opinion or delete any whereas clauses that list the stated rationale for the resignation.

Edited by Atul Kapur
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3 hours ago, Guest Tim (op) said:

Thanks, guys, I def don't want to force a dismissal. I simply want to have my objections recorded. Would that be best done in written format, where my objections are not subject to the phrasing of the clerk? Maybe a short statement I ask be included in the minutes?

The minutes should record what was done, not what was said. You can make this request if you wish, but the board is free to refuse.

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Guest Zev
17 hours ago, Guest Tim said:

Hello, this is a question regarding a non-profit (church) where the pastor has announced his resignation. I, a member of the board, object to his stated reasons, which (conveniently) absolves himself of any responsibility.

The problem with all this, as I see it, is that this individual will not admit to his act and you cannot force him to make such an admission. Also, I have no idea whatsoever of what "absolves himself of any responsibility" actually means. Did he grab and kiss the secretary? Or did he transfer some cash to a foreign bank account? While getting to the bottom of all this many be factual the publishing of it may constitute libel. Everyone at church will eventually hear your side of the story and draw their own conclusions, there is no need to record anything in the minutes. In my view the most important thing is what you tell the rest of the world, which you must do in an honorable fashion. If his act, whatever it was, was trivial, then let him resign. However, if the case is more serious then dismiss him. In this fashion the next church will be relieved or forewarned as the case may be and your church will have acted in a dignified way.

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Guest Tim (op)

Good point, Zev, thanks. I think the honorable thing would be for me to not spread my side of the story to the church outside of the board. There was no misconduct, it was more *I'm doing you a favor by suddenly and unexpectedly stepping down because of [made up reasons]* when reality couldn't be further from the truth.

Not sure how to-the-book our meetings are but his reasons have already been recorded and I'm simply wanting to also record that his given reasons were objected to by at least one member of the board. Part of his reasons reflect poorly on the board (not me personally), so it seems appropriate to note that his story and resignation was not simply accepted as being reasonable and reflective of reality.

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11 hours ago, Guest Tim (op) said:

Not sure how to-the-book our meetings are but his reasons have already been recorded and I'm simply wanting to also record that his given reasons were objected to by at least one member of the board. Part of his reasons reflect poorly on the board (not me personally), so it seems appropriate to note that his story and resignation was not simply accepted as being reasonable and reflective of reality.

In the minutes? If so, rather than get your counter-points in, removing extraneous info from the minutes might be helpful.

As a pastor who has recently submitted his resignation, I would never expect my reasons for leaving (other than this is the right decision for us at this time) to be part of the official record of the meeting, especially if they are borderline accusations.

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20 hours ago, Guest Zev said:

 

RONR 11th edition page 136-137.

[Zev] "Mr. Chairman, if we accept the gentleman's resignation a motion to dismiss him is no longer possible, or if we dismiss him we can no longer accept his resignation. For this reason I respectfully appeal your ruling that the motion to substitute is out of order."

The chair would rule that the "essential idea" of a motion to accept a resignation is not the same as the "essential idea" a motion to remove someone from a position.

There was discussion of the case of the New York Bar removing Richard Nixon after he submitted his resignation, and it was declined.  Further, RONR notes that a resignation sent to avoid charges may be rejected, and charges adopted (p. 292, ll. 7-10).  That gives a very clear indication that a motion to accept a resignation is not the same as a motion to prefer charges. 

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54 minutes ago, J. J. said:

The chair would rule that the "essential idea" of a motion to accept a resignation is not the same as the "essential idea" a motion to remove someone from a position.

There was discussion of the case of the New York Bar removing Richard Nixon after he submitted his resignation, and it was declined.  Further, RONR notes that a resignation sent to avoid charges may be rejected, and charges adopted (p. 292, ll. 7-10).  That gives a very clear indication that a motion to accept a resignation is not the same as a motion to prefer charges. 

I agree.

But one of the common scenarios for voting not to accept a resignation is if it is desired to discipline the person.  Once a resignation has been accepted, the society has far fewer options in this regard.

In a club where dues are required, it is common for the club to refuse to accept the resignation of a member who is in arrears on dues payments.  Dues, therefore, continue to accumulate until paid in full.  

Still, these are reasons for failing to accept a resignation.  It does not mean that it would be germane to substitute one motion for the other.

 

Edited by Gary Novosielski
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4 minutes ago, Gary Novosielski said:

I agree.

But one of the common scenarios for voting not to accept a resignation is if it is desired to discipline the person.  Once a resignation has been accepted, the society has far fewer options in this regard.

 

 

That is why I suggested postponing the acceptance of the resignation. 

 

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Guest Zev
2 hours ago, J. J. said:

The chair would rule that the "essential idea" of a motion to accept a resignation is not the same as the "essential idea" a motion to remove someone from a position.

Quote

Or assume that the following is the pending motion: "that the City Council commend Officer George for his action in ..." An amendment to strike out "commend" and insert "censure," although antagonistic to the original intent, is germane and in order because both ideas deal with the Council's opinion of the officer's action. Also, since a motion to censure the officer for the same act could not be introduced independently in the same session after the adoption of a motion to commend him, the amendment to change commend to censure is germane under the rule given above.

RONR 11th edition page 137.

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1 hour ago, Guest Zev said:

RONR 11th edition page 137.

This has nothing to do with germaness; these are two separate classes of motions.  A motion to accept a request to resign from a position is an incidental motion.  A motion to remove someone from a position is an incidental main motion, possibly Rescind.  This violates the rule that an amendment is improper because it "would have the effect of converting one parliamentary motion into another (p. 138, ll. 34-35)."  The amendment would change an incidental motion into a main motion. 

There is a substantive difference between removing someone from a position and granting that person's request to leave that position.  That is clearly shown,  on p. 292, ll. 7-10.  They are two different things that can only be adopted by two different classes of motions.

Edited by J. J.
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On 5/4/2019 at 12:47 PM, Gary Novosielski said:

The pronouns, with/for and the order of the two things to be substituted one for the other, are not fixed in their meanings.

Did you substitute "pronouns" for "prepositions"?

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Guest Who's Coming to Dinner
16 minutes ago, Shmuel Gerber said:

Did you substitute "pronouns" for "prepositions"?

No, he substituted "prepositions" for "pronouns."
—Illogical Pennsylvanian

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Guest Zev
1 hour ago, J. J. said:

This has nothing to do with germaness;... (and the rest)

I understand your argument and I agree that a change from one type of parliamentary motion to another type is disallowed. However, I do not believe that this case is one of those cases. An incidental main motion and a plain main motion do not appear to be far away; they are still main motions. Nevertheless, I should be open to the possibility that given some additional input I may change my mind and then join your camp.

Now whether pronouns and prepositions can be freely interchanged I would suppose that with a little bit of alcohol before a business meeting anything is possible.:D

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13 minutes ago, Guest Zev said:

I understand your argument and I agree that a change from one type of parliamentary motion to another type is disallowed. However, I do not believe that this case is one of those cases. An incidental main motion and a plain main motion do not appear to be far away; they are still main motions. Nevertheless, I should be open to the possibility that given some additional input I may change my mind and then join your camp.

Now whether pronouns and prepositions can be freely interchanged I would suppose that with a little bit of alcohol before a business meeting anything is possible.:D

This is not a change from an original main to an incidental main motion.  It is a change from an incidental motion, a Request to Be Excused From a Duty, to an incidental main motion.  Those are different classes of motions.  

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Guest Zev
25 minutes ago, J. J. said:

It is a change from an incidental motion, a Request to Be Excused From a Duty, to an incidental main motion.  Those are different classes of motions.

I re-checked this. You are absolutely correct; they are different in the manner you described. However, I still maintain my previous position in this particular case for the stated reason.

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